Hatching Pete

  • Review Date: April 23, 2009
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2009
  • Running Time: 86 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Upbeat movie about confidence has good messages for tweens.
  • Review Date: April 23, 2009
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2009
  • Running Time: 86 minutes





What parents need to know

Educational value

No specific educational content, but kids will learn important lessons about friendship and believing in yourself.

Positive messages

A teen overcomes his fears of being in the spotlight and finds the self-confidence to come out of his shell.

Positive role models

Parents are involved and supportive. Poole's actions sometimes seem self-serving and manipulative (for example, he uses Pete's hopes for a date with his sister as leverage to persuade him to secretly take over as mascot), but he owns up to his mistakes, makes amends with Pete, and becomes his biggest supporter.

Violence & scariness

Some comic pratfalls, and a cheerleader suffers a bloody nose after a collision with a basketball player.

Sexy stuff

Some mild flirting between teens, and one innocent kiss.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this entertaining, squeaky clean Disney TV movie has plenty of positive messages. Pete's journey from uncertainty to self-confidence is an excellent example for tweens struggling with their own identity woes, and the movie offers lots for parents and their kids to discuss about friends and peer pressure. Content-wise, there's little to worry about aside from some mild flirting that results in a brief kiss.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Pete Ivey (Jason Dolley) is the type of guy who's easily overlooked in the school halls -- unlike his boisterous best friend, Cleatus Poole (Mitchel Musso), who's proudly carrying on the family tradition of spreading school spirit as the spirited Brewster High chicken. But when the costume prompts an allergy attack, Poole begs Pete to take his place at center court; the resulting anonymity frees Pete to discover his inner star. Trouble is, it's Poole who's getting all the attention from fans, who think he's the one behind the mask. Meanwhile, Pete's attempts to get noticed by pretty new girl Angela (Josie Loren) are complicated by the fact that she's also entranced with the mysterious man in the chicken suit. In the end, Pete must decide whether facing the possibility of rejection is worth revealing himself for what -- and who -- he really is.

Is it any good?


Anyone who's ever faced an identity crisis will find a hero in Pete, and Disney veteran Dolley's performance as the uncertain teen makes it easy to root for this lovable underdog. This movie's premise could easily be cheesy enough to put parents off, but the talented young cast makes the story surprisingly enjoyable for a range of age groups.

Entertainment value aside, HATCHING PETE also offers substance for its family -- and especially tween -- viewers. Strong messages about self-respect, self-confidence, friendship, and honesty permeate the storyline, making it a great tool for jumpstarting family discussions on social issues that affect kids and tweens. And Pete and Angela's developing relationship is cast in a positive light, reminding kids that, in the end, the most effective way to earn people's respect is to just be yourself.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about kids' relationships with their peers. Kids: Have you ever felt, like Pete, that people don't notice you? Do you want to be noticed? If so, what do you do to make that happen?

  • Do you ever feel pressure to behave or believe a certain way because of what your friends are doing? Why is it hard to stand up to peer pressure? Who do you turn to for support?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:April 24, 2009
DVD release date:May 12, 2009
Cast:Jason Dolley, Josie Loren, Mitchel Musso
Director:Stuart Gillard
Studio:Walt Disney Pictures
Run time:86 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of Hatching Pete was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 11 years old August 5, 2011


boring story but it has a good message.
Teen, 14 years old Written bygeckogirl May 18, 2010
I was really surprised at how good this movie was! I loved it! My 13 year old brother and I couldn't stop laughing!
Kid, 10 years old February 18, 2012

Hatching Pete

Hatching Pete is a simple movie. It has okay direction and good acting but the movie kind of lags on. Overall Hatching Pete is a really good movie.


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